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Stimulus Hopes Fade as 'Cliff' Looms

Unemployed stand to lose checks at the end of the year
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 27, 2020 2:30 PM CDT

(Newser) – The Trump administration warned Tuesday not to expect a major pandemic relief package before next week's election. "The chances are slim when you have someone like Nancy Pelosi as speaker of the House," White House spokeswoman Kayleigh McEnany said on Fox Business Network, Reuters reports. President Trump later predicted that Republicans would retake the House, which would result in a major relief package after Nov. 3. "After the election, we’ll get the best stimulus package you’ve ever seen," he said, per the Washington Post. He spoke as Congress adjourned for its October recess until after the election. Both chambers could return before then if Pelosi and Treasury chief Steven Mnuchin strike a deal, notes Fox News.

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A post at CNBC explains the stakes: A program that pays benefits to gig workers, including freelancers, part-time workers, and contractors, will expire at the end of the year unless it's extended; so will a second that pays an extra 13 weeks of benefits after standard state benefits run out. The two programs affect about 13.5 million of the 23 million Americans getting unemployment benefits, Labor Department data show. "There's going to be an enormous cliff at the end of the year," a labor economist tells the network. The unemployed and marginally employed face several complications, including a surge in coronavirus cases that could make temporary layoffs permanent. The federal government's ban on evictions also runs out at the end of December. (Read more economic stimulus package stories.)

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